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Preparing The Hard Drive

Desktop Linux For The Windows Power User

Step 4 of 7, Part A

This step involves two sets of tasks: first, preparing (making room) for Linux partitions and second, creating Linux partitions.

First, you will be given a few options depending on what (if anything) is currently on your hard drive. We will check the Manual option and click Forward, no matter what is currently on the disk.


Note: If you want to install Ubuntu to a second hard drive with Windows on the first, just follow the directions for a blank hard drive.

  • For disks completely partitioned for Windows, follow step A.
  • For disks that are totally blank, follow step B.
  • For disks with Windows and un-partitioned free space, skip to step C.

A. If your hard disk is completely partitioned for Windows, select your Windows partition and click "Edit partition."

In the first box, enter the size to which you want the Windows partition to be resized (in megabytes) and select "do not use the partition" in the second box, then click OK.

For example, let's say you have a 60 GB hard drive with just Windows and you want Windows and Ubuntu to share the hard drive equally. You'd change the size of the Windows partition to 30 GB (30,000 MB) and you will be left with 30 GB of free space for Ubuntu.   

A dialog box will appear asking you to confirm changes to the disk. This is the last chance you will have to back out before committing the changes. When ready, click Continue.

B. If you have a single hard disk that is completely empty, the first step will be to create a new partition table. Do this by selecting your empty device, which is usually labeled HDA (for IDE) or SDA (for SATA, SCSI, and USB), and then clicking "New partition table." If you are installing Ubuntu to a second hard drive with Windows occupying the first, the second drive will most likely be labeled “HDB” or “SDB.”

A disclaimer warning of data loss will appear. If you have multiple drives, verify that you have chosen the correct one and click Continue.

C. Select the entry marked "free space" and then click "New partition" to create a new partition.

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